Friday, May 27, 2011

Patio Date Night with Italian Souvenirs

Scott and I had a fabulous patio date night last Saturday as part 3 of our anniversary celebration. Since the weather was great we decided to take full advantage of the patio before the heat and mosquitoes invade for the summer.

Appetizer: crostini with black truffle salsa

We purchased this gem in Assisi. I really hope I can find more of this locally because it is amazing. I used half the tiny jar for our appetizer. This was very simple to make. I sliced and toasted some French bread and then topped it with the black truffle salsa.

Entrée: NY Strip Steaks with a southwest rub
This steak recipe is one our favorites from Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill cookbook. I keep a container of “southwest rub” on standby to use on various meats. The steaks were coated in EVOO and then seasoned with salt and pepper and then I put the southwest rub on one side of the steak. They were grilled on a grill pan over medium-high heat for 4 minutes on one side and then 6 on the other.

Sides: Stuffed squash blossoms and grilled squash
The stuffed squash blossoms were my favorite item from the cooking class we took in Rome. I had my first farmer’s market experience the morning of to locate the squash blossoms. There were about 20 in the container so I made 8 for us and the remaining 12 as appetizers for our Sunday night dinner. The filling for the squash blossoms was a mixture of approximately ¾ cup ricotta cheese, zest of 2 small lemons, juice of one lemon, and 1/8 tsp nutmeg. Once the blossoms were stuffed I twisted the tops and put them in a baking dish and drizzled a little EVOO on top and then baked for about 7 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

For the grilled squash I sliced a squash and then drizzled some EVOO and truffle oil on top and seasoned with pepper. Then I grilled them on the grill pan for about 2 minutes on each side.

Wine: Unity
Our buddy Jason at The Tasting Room—Uptown Park had recommended this wine to us last fall. After sampling it we purchased a bottle and have been saving it for the perfect meal. I thought the symbolism of the name was very fitting in honor of our anniversary.

Dessert: BlueBell’s Fudge Brownie Nut ice cream with chocolate and caramel sauce

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